Our friends at GAS sent the following reminder regarding an interesting workshop in December with Pam Spitzmueller:
Please join us at the Garage Annex School in Easthampton, MA, U.S.A., for the workshop Wooden-Leaf Books. You may view a gallery of images by going to Wooden-Leaf Books. Please register on our site using your MasterCard or Visa, or if you send a check email us to let us know. We’ll save you a spot. We hope you see you here!
Tuition: $225 plus materials: $40
Utilitarian book formats of multiple wooden leaves have been used throughout history as reusable tablets for notes, perpetual calendars, craftsmen pattern books, or permanent containers for writing.
Thin slices of wood are bound along one edge forming pocket-sized books. They are durable, portable, and ready to be consulted at a moment’s notice. These historical styles are ripe for interpretation by book artists.
Our first model will be the wax tablet codex. The Roman multi-leaf wax tablets have sunken panels containing darkened wax. A stylus, a metal writing tool, was used to scratch letters into the soft wax as well as to erase them with the stylus’s blunt end. These multi-leaf books range in size from 2 to 10 leaves. Sometimes a recess was cut into the board to hold the stylus.
There are variations from the Far East of the multi-leaf tablet that use wax, no recess, and a glued-on spine. We will make a sample of this as well.
Medieval craftsman’s pattern books as well as medieval perpetual calendars—both of multiple leaves—were spine edge stitched allowing these books to open 180 degrees. Traditionally, patterns or calendars were carved into the sturdy wooden surface. These durable books were always at hand and were consulted readily. Sometimes they were further protected by closure with a fore-edge clasp.
Energetic workshop participants are welcome to bring to class their own designs that they may paint or draw on the leaves. Or, you may adhere to historic images for your calendar.
In addition to the structures described above, we will study other wooden books from various cultures—such as a 4th century C.E. Egyptian example.
You can expect to make three structures: (1) the roman tablet, (2) the Far East glued spine, and (3) the medieval multi-leaf—and optionally, you may apply historic content by scribing wax and carving, pasting on or stenciling images copied from medieval examples.